Recommended by Ricardo Soltero-Brown

    8 Dec. 2023
    A proverbial culture war occurs in the bedrock of civilization in this political drama by Vince Gatton. Dialogue is raw, bold, staggering, witty. Current societal vistas are laid bare regarding religious freedom, marital rights, class privileges, youth's dreams, gender expression, first-world problems, etc. As a resident of Florida, known for being a cultural vacuum (if not void), a great deal of the play rang not only true, but familiar. Reminiscent of the social dramas of Emilio Estevez or Michael Tolkin's THE RAPTURE, the heart bleeds off the page. The central twist is as incendiary as the play's titular historical catastrophe.
  • The Court of Public Opinion
    8 Dec. 2023
    Kudos to each character having a number of monologues about character, truth, and justice that are immediately seen as accurate, impressive, and humorously written. The dialogue is crisp, and clear, and natural, signs of a Christopher Soucy play. Add drugs. And a friend. Relationships will be tested. Well, it gets interesting and intricate and tense. Soucy expertly reveals information so that we're constantly guessing and finding out just a little bit more, without us feeling like the rug has been deviously pulled out from under us. We're on the hook. Soucy knows how to write direct, human-based conflict, and drama.
  • The Bench
    7 Dec. 2023
    A poignant reflection on a love, though now lost, that is embodied in a token, however strange or simple it may be. That token that remains never seems up to us, be it a place, a car, a song, whatever curio in which it takes form there is a whole world inside. More power to those who this curio expands their universe instead of breaks them down, for love is meant to have ourselves grow, not to close us off. I can't tell you how many times my curio has made me cry. Perhaps choose one that symbolizes you both.
    6 Dec. 2023
    Nora Louise Syran's IMPRESSIONS OF PARIS is a passel of history, art, and art history. The style - of design and performance, both - gleam off the page rendering the theatricality almost pristine in one's imagination. The atmosphere is delightful in ways that feel at turns naughty and inspiring. NLS weaves song and dance into the lyrical script, but its hardly in the margins of Valadon's story, rather the numbers become part of Valadon's expression; her expression being NLS's major achievement. A musing on the creative processes of giants, it does not forget the disillusionment of the lifestyle bohemian either.
  • Memorial Day (Full Length)
    5 Dec. 2023
    The humorous dialogue is exceptional considering the subject matter. That it has the humor of life at all makes the play nonpareil, sliding it into the leagues of The Normal Heart, The Destiny of Me, and the more grounded aspects of Angels in America. The pathos is reminiscent of Longtime Companion and the angrier writings of Larry Kramer, like The Tragedy of Today's Gays. The structure builds just right and the way it plays into the arc of the characters makes each piece poignant in the cog-work. Skip the character page and read the script, let it speak for itself.
    4 Dec. 2023
    Replete with historical dues and literary context, CHARLOTTE'S LETTERS is another fine component in Jennifer O'Grady's canon of artists-at-work during significant moments in their lives. (See: JUGGLING WITH MR. FIELDS) It was certainly delightful learning about the women behind so many important works of Western prose and their formidable years, but there is plenty of entertainment and drama in the sections involving Mrs. Gaskell and Meta, and how they work on framing the Brontë sisters. The language, the dialogue is simultaneously appropriate, rhapsodic, and accessible. The second half reaches a layer of dream-upon-dream that renders the play into resplendent heights.
  • CANCER'S A BITCH (formerly "Blackouts")
    4 Dec. 2023
    With its ease at bawdy comedy upfront and center, the play makes clear how honest a body comedy it will be. A great deal of the sardonic humor comes from the insensitive treatment Gabisile receives from both humans and fate and her blunt reactions to all of it, regarding her race, career, attitude, etc. It's astonishing how Kerr Lockhart is able to mine the right diamonds out of all the plays subjects. There are themes on performance as personality, as well, aside from the personification that occurs. A poignant musing where "Life is the bit/And death is the button".
  • Tracy Jones
    4 Dec. 2023
    A wry investigation of loneliness that questions whether the only person who can stand oneself is oneself - and if that's really who we're looking for in companionship: ourself. The stage directions by Stephen Kaplan serve as a how-to regarding the tightrope walk performance that is necessary for Tracy Jones - as well as the other characters - for they have an almost Eugene O'Neill precision to them, with the dialogue in verse-like distinction. There is great delight in the awkward comedy of these people interacting with one another. Special mention for Jillie who is reminiscent of a Stoppard character.
  • The Polycule: A Comedy of Manners
    30 Nov. 2023
    I was laughing out loud from the beginning; the charm, the cleverness, the je ne sais qoui. Jillian Blevins is not afraid to poke fun at all the different incarnations of romance and polyamory, which is refreshing and proves to be a gift that keeps on giving. The tone, subject matter, the satire remind me not only of the epigraphic Molière, but also of Terence and Plautus. It's truly astonishing what Blevins is able to communicate about the characters through the strictures of verse and rhyme, particularly with sarcasm. Blevins proves herself a master of all genres and forms.
  • A Good Year
    30 Nov. 2023
    Marc finds himself in some tense tête-à-têtes! Remarkable how Philip Middleton Williams draws his characters so completely, it's like reading the work of Edward Albee or Sam Shepard. There are wonderful tiny moments in the script, so precise, that it'd be remiss to dismiss them as director, designer, or actor. PMW has written a roadmap for a funny, vulnerable play about power dynamics, aging, honesty, and the implications of teaching: what does it mean to teach, what is its true purpose as one's purpose, and just who the hell is on the receiving end of the lesson?